It's been a long time since Alan Rickman made his directorial debut back in 1997, and so returning to the role (alongside acting in a major role as well) in 'A Little Chaos' presented a lot of challenges, surprises and, indeed, pleasures for the star.

Alan Rickman in 'A Little Chaos'Alan Rickman plays King Louis XIV in his latest directorial feature

He was at the helm of 1997 drama 'The Winter Guest' but hasn't approached the director's chair since. It's safe to say that coming back into it on a film of this scale, such is the visually stunning 'A Little Chaos', while also portraying the formidable King Louis XIV was a lot of hard work. Though Rickman admits that his two jobs had their similarities. 

'I was helped in one sense by the fact that if you're playing Louis XIV, you don't have to move very much', he quips. 'You kind of stand still and order people about. So, basically, it wouldn't be too much of a joke to say you keep the same expression on your face as when you're directing the film.'

More: Read our review of 'A Little Chaos'

He was surprised to find how much effort had gone into the sets and props of the movie, particularly when he was presented with a choice of several handcrafted purses for Kate Winslet's character Sabine. His decisions for the over all feel of the movie were partly helped by his own design experience. 'I suppose, because I have an art school background before I went to drama school, I have a kind of shorthand talking to production designers and DPs', he explains. 'We're looking with similar eyes and I know to trust their skills.'

Watch the trailer for 'A Little Chaos' here: 

One of his main difficulties came with re-uniting with pal and fellow actor/director Stanley Tucci, who plays Philippe, Duc d'Orleans. 'Stanley Tucci is a director too so it's pretty challenging, frankly', he admits. 'You're always aware of his eyes flicking around thinking, 'How would I shoot this scene?''

Meanwhile, working with Kate Winslet (without whom he suggests the film wouldn't have been made at all) was as plain-sailing as anyone could've hoped for. 'Any director would go down on their knees and say huge thank yous to whatever deity for the fact that when you're in the editing room and you're looking at the wide shot, the medium shot or the close up, there is perfect continuity', he recalls, wistfully. 'She knows exactly which line her hand went up to the leather strap, and which foot she stepped off from.' Rickman previously worked with the actress on 1995's 'Sense and Sensibility'.

More: 'A Little Chaos' oozes British humour

'A Little Chaos' is scheduled for US release on June 26th 2015.